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Inaction on climate change called an 'unprecedented failure'

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Mary Schuermann Kuhlman

(Ohio News Connection) Calling it a "clear and present danger," President Joe Biden announced new measures last week to make communities more resilient against climate change.

Environmental groups want the administration to declare a National Climate Emergency.

Tracy Sabetta, Ohio state field coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force, said the emergency declaration would allow Biden to use executive powers to combat climate change.

"It's an unprecedented failure to not invest in a safe and healthy Future for our kids," Sabetta asserted. "The Biden administration must use every tool at their disposal to reduce climate pollution that is directly threatening our children's health."

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Actions could include halting crude oil exports to reduce emissions and directing federal investments toward renewable energy projects. Opponents of such measures have cited economic concerns.

However, here in Ohio, a new report found the impacts of climate change will cost communities between $2 billion and $6 billion each year by 2050, a 26 to 82 percent increase from 2019.

new survey found about half of registered voters favor a climate-change emergency declaration. Sabetta contended this summer's record-breaking heat is just the latest evidence the writing is on the wall.

"Last year alone, there were 20 extreme weather- and climate-related disasters in the U.S. with losses that exceeded $1 billion for each of those," Sabetta recounted. "Those in lower-income and underserved communities were hit the hardest."

She added air quality monitoring, reducing carbon emissions, and ensuring disproportionately impacted communities are protected against climate impacts are all measures which need to be addressed at the local, state and federal level.